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Justin Timberlake on the Early Days of Fatherhood: “It Broke Me Down”

The transition to parenthood is rarely ever an easy one. OK, it’s never “easy,” period. Even a huge star like Justin Timberlake — with all his wealth and privilege and easy access to chefs and nannies — was not prepared for the emotional and physical toll of fatherhood.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Timberlake opened up about how becoming a father to 2-year-old Silas with wife Jessica Biel changed not only how he sees the world, but also how he lives it.

Having found fame at an incredibly early age — first on Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling, and then as the lead singer of NYSYNC — Timberlake says he barely remembers a time when he wasn’t famous. And while that may sound pretty sweet to some, it wasn’t without its downsides. Now, as a father, he looks at the experience through completely new eyes.

“You go through your life with your own traumas, big and small, and think, ‘It’s not that bad, I have a lot to be thankful for, my parents did the best they could,'” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “But then you have a child of your own, and suddenly it opens all the floodgates, and you’re like, ‘No, no, no! That childhood trauma really did f— me up!'”

The first few months were especially rough for Timberlake (as they are for all new parents). The sleepless nights, coupled with a busy career, made Timberlake see how truly difficult it is to balance work and family.

“At first, it broke me down,” he says. “Those first eight months felt like those old [Ed Sullivan] shows where people are balancing spinning plates on poles — except if you drop one, they die.”

But it’s not all so bad. After all, Timberlake is currently in a musical renaissance right now — and he’s got Silas to thank.

Timberlake’s huge new hit, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” is his first No. 1 single in 10 years and has even been nominated for an Oscar. The song was written for Timberlake’s movie Trolls, but he credits Silas for inspiring the ultra-successful (and super catchy) song, saying he’s “never have written it if it weren’t for him.”

Well, thank you Silas for being responsible for the catchiest song of 2016. We own you one, kid.

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